Sunday, October 3, 2010

'Daring Rescue'

The preceding story mission was: 'Payment In Kind'
The following story mission is: 'Enraged Engineer'

This is the story mission following on from Payment In Kind. Sara and Isaak have been kidnapped by the Mantis and the task is to rescue them. I enjoyed this mission, and managed to do it solo at the sixth attempt. If I finish a mission at the first attempt I usually feel a little cheated.

Needle in a Haystack

You pick the mission orbiting Commerce Central, then have to fly to Technatoria where the old love birds are being held. Fair enough, but if you get destroyed at Technatoria you have to fly to CC to start the mission again, which is daft. The end of Payment In Kind should tell you to travel to Technatoria and you should collect the mission there. Much more logical and saves lots of annoying inter-planetary travel.

At Technatoria you get told to search for Sara and Isaak in successive areas. The marked areas are so large that it's hard to see the map and your own ship marker. Still I managed in each mission to get to the final area. I chose to keep out of trouble through the mission and it was fairly simple to avoid the Death Squads, Pyros etc. It gets difficult when you arrive at the last area.

This shattered piece of the planet is filled with cages which are guarded by half-a-dozen strong Pyros. One of the cages holds Isaak. The idea is that you have to blast the cage and collect the escape pod within 3 minutes of finding him otherwise Isaak suffocates. The three minute countdown starts once you find the cage. What he was breathing before you found him I don't know. It would make more sense if the oxygen started to run out once he was in the escape pod.

The Pyros cremated me most of the times I took this mission. There is also a Death Squad patrolling the area so watch out for them. Once I tried the mission in an Engineer, aiming to use the shield to withstand the thermoblasts while I blasted and collected. It didn't work, too many Pyros. The rest of the time I used my Storm ship, trying to kill the Pyros first. That worked better, but I still fell short. One problem is that when hitting the 'End' key to select the next target I kept finding the cage I was after, which starts the countdown and costs you a second to re-select. The cage position was different each time, sometimes deep in the interior, sometimes near the entrance which is much easier.

The way I managed to beat this mission was to hit-and-run. First I waited outside for the Death Squad patrol to pass, so I had some time alone with the Pyros. Then I flew in and luckily Isaak's cage was near the entrance. It was also the first time I noticed that his cage had a flashing light on it. I watched the Pyros until they were circling away from the cage, then zoomed in and blasted it until Isaak was in his pod. Next I burned away, escaping the attacking Pyros. This starts the timer of course, but I hung around far enough away until my afterburner was cool again. Next I flew in and started to collect Isaak. The Pyros took a few seconds to catch on that I was back, and I started the R2 unit once the first ones lit me up. Once the pod was on board my trusty afterburner got me out of there and into orbit. Magic. The fly in the ointment is that Sara was not in the pod, so she has to be left behind.

There was the formality of taking Isaak back home to CC, which of course turns out to be not that simple. While travelling across the surface of CC back to Isaak's hideout, I got jumped by three or four Pyros, I didn't stop to count them. Afterburner to the rescue again. Unfortunately I went the wrong way which was embarrassing as well as dangerous, I had to stop and come back. Luckily the Pyros seemed confused by my stupidity and were sitting there looking at each other. I burned past them with no trouble and got Isaak back to his hideout.

Nice mission, challenging but do-able on your own. You could probably manage it in Tank, a Shock might be best. An Engineer might do it with the right tactics. Good luck.

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